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Meet the Musicians

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Brian Thacker, contrabass

What is your educational background?
Yale MM
The Boston Conservatory BM

When did you start playing for the PSO? And where else do you perform?
I began performing with the Portland Symphony as a member in 2014. I have performed with the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, the Baltimore Symphony, the Hawaii Symphony and the Sarasota Opera since 2011. During the summers I perform with the Charlottesville Opera in Charlottesville, VA.

Where did you grow up?
Nashua, NH

Where do you currently live?
New Hampshire

Describe a typical day.
There is no such thing as a typical day. But most tend to look like this:
Coffee, 2.5 hr morning practice, lunch/coffee, 2-2.5 hr afternoon practice, exercise, rehearsal.

What is your favorite PSO memory to date?
#1 Winning the audition, without a doubt
#2 Beethoven 5 and 9

How did you get started in music?
My parents and grandmother started me on piano at age 4. Mom decided that if I wanted to play sports, which I did, I would also need to pursue something arts related.

What is the most frequently asked question when you tell someone that you play for the PSO?

If you couldn’t be a musician, what would be your dream job?
a conductor

What is your favorite music? What are you currently listening to?
live music is THE best music. classical, folk/bluegrass, string quartets, electronic, anything that warrants an active listen.

Currently listening to the Australian Chamber Orchestra Mozart Symphonies, Jean Rondeau’s recordings of J.S. Bach Harpsichord Concerti, Punch Brothers and The Bad Plus Rite of Spring.

What are your hobbies?
drinking coffee, practicing, drinking espresso, practicing, surfing, photography….did I mention coffee

What or who has been your greatest influence in life?
My parents and my music teachers. Sr. Lorraine Pinette and Dr. Ingrid Gutberg for providing a strong foundation. Phil Derossiers for generously lending me a 1/2 size kay in high school. And Ben Levy, Dennis Roy, Donald Palma, Ira Gold and Paul DeNola for shaping my bass playing.

What is your favorite thing about Maine? Portland! The food, the people, the ocean, the mountains

What/where are your favorite places to eat in Portland?
Fore Street is always a treat, Lobster rolls at Eventide, coffee at Bard, espresso at Speckled Axe, breakfast sandwich at Tandem, Union Bagel and the butternut squash soup at Kamasouptra

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